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Thread: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

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    Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    From Reuters:

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a referendum on bailout demands from foreign creditors on Saturday, rejecting an "ultimatum" from lenders and putting a deal that could determine Greece's future in Europe to a risky popular vote.

    After a week of acrimonious talks in Brussels, where Tsipras dismissed proposals from the lenders as "blackmail", the 40-year-old prime minister said parliament would meet on Saturday to approve holding a referendum on July 5.
    Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock | Reuters

    Leadership requires difficult choices at times. Unfortunately, the Greek Prime Minister decided to punt on his leadership responsibilities by delegating what is a grave decision to the general public, who almost surely lack the details related to Greece's fiscal situation, the EU/ECB/IMF offer, and understanding of the consequences involved. At the same time, he has shown little urgency with the scheduling, as the Greek Parliament would meet to discuss a referendum to be held on July 5, which is after the June 30 deadline for Greece's IMF payment.

    Even if the Greek Prime Minister believes his punt will give him absolution from the consequences should Greece wind up in arrears to the IMF, it won't. His inability to lead lends further explanation to the chaotic path he has taken over the past several months, which has eroded Greece's small leverage, undermined the good faith others had, and imposed the Greek people to a deepening economic contraction and banking system risks. At a time when Greece needs a leader, it has a Prime Minister who lacks leadership capacity. This only compounds Greece's already terrible situation.

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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    What a intensely cowardice thing to do.

    He's leaving it up to the Greek people so he doesn't have to take responsibility when this blows up in his face.

    He can tell the Greek people " hey guys, dont look at me, this is what you voted for ".

    Unbelievable.

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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    The ECB in particular has been working to sabotage the government of Greece, who were elected on a manifesto of renegotiating the impossible debt burden. There have been poorly concealed approaches to the defeated rightwing Greek parties on forming a government when the present one falls. Tsipras threatened to call a referendum 2 weeks ago, but now it's crunch time. Twice in the last week hopes have been raised and dashed of a resolution. The Greek people are well aware of what the catastrophic results of the austerity conditions they've already suffered, as imposed by the lenders have been, before another 8billion Euros of further cuts in this deal arrive, and will vote accordingly.

    Paul Mason has been calling it fairly accurately so far.
    Greece: a deal nobody believes in | Paul Mason | Paul Mason
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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    I think the concept of holding a referendum on the issue is just. The people who are impacted the most by this are the Greeks, and it's only fair that they should have a say in their fate, rather than have the EU continue to push austerity on them.

    Given that SYRIZA is polling even better now than in January, and that with the support of other anti-austerity parties, they have about 60% of the vote, I'd expect a no on the referendum at this point.
    Social democrat is no longer an accurate description of my views.

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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    The ECB in particular has been working to sabotage the government of Greece, who were elected on a manifesto of renegotiating the impossible debt burden. There have been poorly concealed approaches to the defeated rightwing Greek parties on forming a government when the present one falls. Tsipras threatened to call a referendum 2 weeks ago, but now it's crunch time. Twice in the last week hopes have been raised and dashed of a resolution. The Greek people are well aware of what the catastrophic results of the austerity conditions they've already suffered, as imposed by the lenders have been, before another 8billion Euros of further cuts in this deal arrive, and will vote accordingly.

    Paul Mason has been calling it fairly accurately so far.
    Greece: a deal nobody believes in | Paul Mason | Paul Mason
    The ECB has provided emergency assistance to Greece's banks that surpasses 60% of Greece's GDP. I don't think the current Greek government is in a strong position to criticize the ECB for its efforts.

    The IMF has suggested that debt relief be included, but in exchange for structural reforms. Prime Minister Tsipiras has, in the end, turned out to have offered very little in the way of structural reforms, while branding the IMF "criminal," even as its suggested approach is vastly more generous than either the EU or ECB positions, both of which don't seek debt relief.

    I feel badly for Greece's people, as I don't disagree about the high costs of austerity. However, ineffectual leadership has played a role in exacerbating the situation. Had a more flexible leader been in office, I suspect that not only would more generous terms have been agreed than what are now available (as some of the economic contraction might have been headed off), but a serious negotiation leading to the kind of debt relief envisioned by the IMF would also have been well underway.

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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialDemocrat View Post
    I think the concept of holding a referendum on the issue is just. The people who are impacted the most by this are the Greeks, and it's only fair that they should have a say in their fate, rather than have the EU continue to push austerity on them.

    Given that SYRIZA is polling even better now than in January, and that with the support of other anti-austerity parties, they have about 60% of the vote, I'd expect a no on the referendum at this point.
    Well of-course you do.

    If Syrzia says jump, Socialist say how high. The Greek people already voted, they elected or they thought they elected a leader. Not someone who's looking for a way to pass off his responsibility by holding a referendum.

    He's looking to cover his ass Politically.

    But then again, this was the same guy who tried to extort his way out of this mess by claiming Germany owed Greece 300 Million euro's in " Nazi war crime " fines unpaid.
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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenton View Post
    Well of-course you do.

    If Syrzia says jump, Socialist say how high. The Greek people already voted, they elected or they thought they elected a leader. Not someone who's looking for a way to pass off his responsibility by holding a referendum.

    He's looking to cover his ass Politically.

    But then again, this was the same guy who tried to extort his way out of this mess by claiming Germany owed Greece 300 Million euro's in " Nazi war crime " fines unpaid.
    You're correct in that it is a smart move for Tsipras politically speaking. Is there any reason to suggest that a referendum is not what the Greek people want? Anti-bailout voters obviously want their voice heard, and pro-bailout voters would almost surely prefer the chance to vote in a referendum rather than the Greek government flat out telling the EU 'no.'
    Social democrat is no longer an accurate description of my views.

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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    From Reuters:



    Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock | Reuters

    Leadership requires difficult choices at times. Unfortunately, the Greek Prime Minister decided to punt on his leadership responsibilities by delegating what is a grave decision to the general public, who almost surely lack the details related to Greece's fiscal situation, the EU/ECB/IMF offer, and understanding of the consequences involved. At the same time, he has shown little urgency with the scheduling, as the Greek Parliament would meet to discuss a referendum to be held on July 5, which is after the June 30 deadline for Greece's IMF payment.

    Even if the Greek Prime Minister believes his punt will give him absolution from the consequences should Greece wind up in arrears to the IMF, it won't. His inability to lead lends further explanation to the chaotic path he has taken over the past several months, which has eroded Greece's small leverage, undermined the good faith others had, and imposed the Greek people to a deepening economic contraction and banking system risks. At a time when Greece needs a leader, it has a Prime Minister who lacks leadership capacity. This only compounds Greece's already terrible situation.
    The EU/IMF have been pushing the idea that Tsipras has been behaving waywardly, not negotiating in the best interests of the Greek people and not being serious about market reforms. That's simply propaganda. The package that the Greek government has proposed is austere, probably too austere for the Greek public to accept, because Tsipras and Varoufakis have gone so far towards giving the lenders what they are demanding. There doesn't appear to be any substantive basis on which the EU/ECB/IMF negotiators should reject the Greek proposal. It strikes me, and I suspect Tsipras, that they aren't serious about negotiating a deal that the Greek people can accept. They are offering no debt relief, only more austerity, for a people who have had nothing else for the past 8 years.

    Trying to present the stalemate as coming from the Greek side pushing a radical left-wing agenda is playing politics. Tsipras is rightly calling their bluff and demonstrating that they are not out of touch with the position their people hold. I'd say the EU/ECB/IMF position is one that is promoting a Grexit. They want Greece out of the Eurozone (and thereby out of the EU) and have not been negotiating in good faith.

    It's rather ironic that the use of a referendum on a single, albeit major, issue is being portrayed as a lack of leadership when everyone on the right has been applauding the UK Tories' EU-exit referendum plans, the consequences of which are considerably more complicated, difficult to explain and debate than the Greek government's negotiating position. That's a red herring if ever I saw one!
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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Had a more flexible leader been in office, I suspect that not only would more generous terms have been agreed than what are now available (as some of the economic contraction might have been headed off), but a serious negotiation leading to the kind of debt relief envisioned by the IMF would also have been well underway.
    I think for 'flexible' you really mean a weaker one. What exactly to you think Tsipras has held out on in terms of structural reforms? I think the negotiators are trying to punish Greece for having elected a left-wing government; they've already been sounding out the positions of the centre-right political opposition, looking to see what difference getting rid of Syriza would make to the negotiations. Hardly democratic, but then these aren't democratic institutions we're talking about.
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    Re: Greece's Tsipras calls referendum to break bailout deadlock

    The IMF is partly to blame for what happened in Greece: because they allowed the Greeks to borrow more than 200% of the country's quota (which is determined by each country's capital contribution to the IMF) which was the IMF stated limit for everybody,and then moreso than any other country- in fact I believe its over 1000%.

    But unless Tsipras's party enacts major reforms (such as downsizing government spending and reforming tax collections to increase revenue) and so far it seems to have no intention of doing so, then this new government really is no better than the government it replaced.

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